Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Voice of Keith Richards

With his new impossibly detailed autobiography flying off the shelves over the past month, Keith Richards has been on the top of our collective minds more than ever lately. Having read some of the book (or rather, listened to the audiobook narrated by Johnny Depp), I've found the candor with which Richards describes the depravity of his addict years with The Stones surprising, to say the least. He comes across as totally honest with himself when it comes to his mistakes and shortcomings, and this makes for a read that is endearing and thoroughly enjoyable.

Having learned about some of Keith's more sordid tales straight from the horse's mouth, I was inclines to look back at some lesser-known Stones tracks where Keith takes lead vocals. Typically, this usually happened once or twice an album, and the tracks were often overlooked as filler, serving as a breather in between Sir Mick's ballyhooing rockers. But while much of the Stones' output in the 80's and 90's sounds overly-slick and dated, Keith's tunes from that period really stand the test of time, and are consistent to an incredible degree when put together in a row. Especially in the later years, Keith was knocking off deeply affecting ballads of regret and humility, delivered in his signature off-hand, soulful tenor. The brutal honesty of his writing seems to come from the same place as the bracing truths in his songwriting.

So I made a Keith mix (surprise, surprise). Of particular note are "Too Rude," Keith's surprisingly successful stab at reggae from 1986's Dirty Work, and "How Can I Stop," a well-produced slow-burner from 1998's Bridges to Babylon that features jazz legend Wayne Shorter on a gorgeous outro sax solo. The rest of the tunes range from classic rockers to haunting laments, and they all come together to paint a picture of Keith Richards as one soulful, troubled dude in his own right. Play this on a rainy day, and let Kieth's blues drift you away...

The Rolling Stones, Starring Keith Richards - How Can I Stop

1. Infamy
2. Before They Make Me Run
3. Connection (Live)
4. Too Rude
5. All About You
6. Thief in the Night
7. Coming Down Again
8. Little T&A
9. Sleep Tonight
10. How Can I Stop
11. You Got The Silver (Live)
12. The Worst
13. Thru And Thru
14. This Place Is Empty
15. Losing My Touch

Download Link


  1. Listening to a jaded heroin addicts 'soulful" singing aint my cup of Java. If I want "cry in
    my beer ballads" I will listen to some country music.

  2. Hi, the link is broken, can you share it on other source?

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